Rec Player Perspective
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Tee Boxes are great. Level, Rubber Pads, size appropriate to the hole length
-Nice Baskets... two on many holes
-Variety... up, down, left, right, open, wooded... and wooded, and more wooded.
-Very clean (exception is behind the parking lot)
-Practice Basket near parking lot / Kiosk
-Very pretty in all seasons. 18th hole especially in Spring and Fall
-Plenty of parking
-Has enough play to be vibrant, but rarely is "crowded"
Cons: -Lacking some amenities like bathroom or even a port-o-potty, trash cans
-Very challenging for a recreational skill level player. This course can be very frustrating for a beginner, and and can make for a long day for even an experienced rec-level player. But this is a Pro NOT a con for better players.
-Signs rotted away a few years ago. The old signs were nice. But Navigation really isn't too bad for first timers, just print the course map on this site before hand or look for the arrows on all of the baskets.
Other Thoughts: This course gets a wild variety of ratings, and I tried to be objective in my ratings. I'm an "older" (almost 60) player, and I can't throw more than 200 feet with much consistency.
I think some of the problem with this course is it's really set up to be a challenge to tournament players. REC players like me see the course this way:
1- Straight and open, but to par it I'll probably have to nail an 175' approach shot, then a putt in the windiest part of the course.
2- Some trees to negotiate, a long mostly open par 3.
3- Short but tight. Almost impossible to keep a drive in the fairway, which makes the approach fraught with danger from numerous trees
4- Where is the basket? OK if I don't roll down the hill
5- A decent 200' drive will leave a short approach, but you might have to bend a putter or a mid to get close.
6- Downhill to the "easy" basket. Not a bad par if you can avoid trees.
7- Short uphill. Good par chance if you can avoid an early tree.
8- Another downhill. Just avoid the early trees
9- Cool benches and Tee area, short basket reachable if you can avoid the trees... creek will eat an overshoot
10- Par 3? Really? Not for a rec play. No way I'm getting a drive where I can have a look at the basket unless I get a really lucky roll.
11- Downhill, but a tough Par 3 for a Rec player... trees will eventually grab a drive, and the approach will need to bend and curve just right.
12- OK, a half way decent drive and a "smart" touch approach will lead to a make-able par putt.
13- New short straight basket helps, but the tree in the middle of the already narrow fairway is intimidating. My best percentage is to throw at the tree in the middle... which means a good drive gets punished. Can the mando be ignored on the short basket since there is no advantage to "cutting" the fairway? Another hole that should be a par 4 for a rec level player
14- Hey, a "birdie-able" hole with a nice touch drive, though it's certainly easy enough to hit a tree and be down in the gully.
15- A tough dogleg right even to the short basket. Really a four is the best I can hope for.
16- The hole I fear most in Western Mass/Northern CT... Long and a narrow tunnel and even the "short" basket is a long way out there. Feels like a par five to me and will to most rec players.
17- Fun hole after the 13/15/16 gantlet.
18- Beautiful hole, and I have made par here, but it takes my best drive and then some kind of big hyzer approach to get around the apple trees to have a par putt.
I respect that this is a challenging course that rewards players that can throw long and accurately, but I understand how it can frustrate others. Course Designers need to remember there are more rounds played by us "hackers" than by good players. That said, I understand why the better players in the area love Crane Hill.
Bottom Line is this course while lacking in some amenities, this course holds its own with the better courses in New England.
Random Closing Thought: Until today, I hadn't played this course in over a year. Last time I played it one of the "locals" chewed me out for driving too fast in the parking lot (10 MPH instead of the posted 5 MPH). I thought the guy was just being a jerk, but now I know he was just being protective of a course he loves... neighbors had complained to the town about the dust. Since then the road has a coating of some fresh cinders, today the driveway/parking lot didn't seem to be any dust issue. The local core of players may not be all that warm and fuzzy, but they are not as scary as I once feared.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
A Local Gem
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: There is a practice basket right by the parking lot so you can warm up before your round. Well kept teepads and very few spots to lose a disc. Fairways are fair and the rough can be punishing but you very rarely feel cheated. Overall, this course provides a nice amount of challenge and makes you use a bunch of different shots to do well.
The course starts you off with an easy hole 1 to get you warmed up, open 300 or so foot shot. This is followed by a more challenging hole 2 that is still comparatively open. After you've had this chance to get warmed up, it's into the woods where you will be challenged to make good shots. Compared to other courses in New England, the fairways are not super tight, and they are definitely fair. As the course is currently laid out (see other thoughts for alternate pins), 3 is a straight shot down the tunnel, 4 is up hill about 200-250 then turning right and up the hill for another 150 or so, with plenty of rough on the sides. Hole 5 can be played with a turnover or flick down the left side of the fairway or there is a tight line down the right for a hyzer or straight shot.Hole 6 is downhill and to the right protected by some trees, both midrange hyzer and anny ficks work well. 7 brings you back uphill with an easy hyzer shot. 8 is a turnover or flick down the hill (sort of a longer, mirrored version of hole 6. Holes 9 and 10 really challenge you to hit the right line with the right disc and the right angle to get that birdie. Both are basically long shots down a narrow fairway with plenty of rough to punish you if you nail a tree. Hole 9 also has an OB stream behind the basket and down the right side of the rough. Holes 11 and 12 are shorter, both deucable, but 12 is a very tight tunnel shot that it's easiest to try and play a disc that will skip straight. 13 is an awesome and challenging shot, shooting out from the woods to the field then back into the woods, curling towards the left with a mando at the entrance back in. Then you've still got about another 150-200ft of work to do. Playing big skip shots, anny flicks, or sharp hyzers is important here. 14 is the hole everyone wants to deuce, incredibly short, but if you go long you are staring at a death putt down a huge hill. Also just enough trees to knock your disc down into the pit and you're looking at a put that is about 20 feet straight uphill. Hole 15 is just cruel, if you get into the rough, just pitch out and do not try to be a hero, it never works. 16, 17, and 18 all have you back in the open with 16 being a short placement drive then another drive to the basket (big turnover if you are playing to the long position). 17 is a turnover or flick and 18 is a great hole to finish on with a wide open slightly downhill shot about 350' away.
Cons: Bad signage, and going from hole 3 to 4 might confuse some people (hole 12 is right next to the end of 3 and many new players could easily end up skipping half the course).
Hole 15 will kick your ass. This is the only hole I really dread at this course.
Other Thoughts: There are alternate pin positions on holes 1, 3, 6, 8, 9, 16 and there were shorter positions (though I'm not sure they are used anymore) on 4, 12, 13, 15.
Random doubles league on Thursday evenings and a great community in general make this one of my favorite local courses for sure.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Nice terrain..nice scenery...nice day of disc golf a lil of everything wood shots wide open shoots up hill and a interesting 14 th hole
Cons: Signs..almost none but I emailed the course layout out I found here to my phone and was relativly easy...and when we got a lil lost a local helped us right out and we were back on course
Other Thoughts: If you go down the road a lil to Springfield famous daves BBQ is not far and we ate there and it was excellent lunch..plus there's a lot of other places for lunch right around
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Beautiful Scenery!
-Great condition Chainstar baskets
-Well designed, diverse course, course leans towards technical tight shots more than distance
-Good use of existing trails
-Creek nicely used as out of bounds on a few holes
-Course loops back to parking area
-Well mowed on areas that need it (grass isn't that thick anyways)
-Tee Signs are "cute"
-Natural seats and benches on hole 9
-Was not crowded when I went (Sat Afternoon during summer)
-Hills will offer a slight workout
Cons: -Natural tees are DANGEROUS/Distracting. Exposed roots and rocks are easy to trip on and avoiding them may mess up your drive. I couldn't see playing when it's wet or during winter.
-Navigation is a bit of a pain. There are vauge arrows at each basket to lead you to the next tee. It is easy to follow the wrong trail. I HIGHLY suggest trying to tag along with a local.
-"cute" signs (they have animal carvings on them) give you an idea of what the hole will be like, but I often had to scout to see where the basket really was.
-no waste baskets (there was slight litter)
-no Entrance sign to course (had to look for baskets from road while driving)
-tee sign for #4 missing
Other Thoughts: This course has amazing potential. I would have easily given it a higher scoreif it wasn't for some flaws. I was only playing this course as part of my visit to Massachusetts, so I don't know what plans are in place for this course, they may be improving it. The lack of cement tees is the biggest short coming for me. These tees really are dangerous and distracting. I found myself driving a lot shorter than I would normally just because I had to carefully approach the end of the tee area. I feel that if there were cement tees that this could quickly become a top level course. Detailed maps and more detailed signage would be great, too.
Please don't let these cons scare you away from this course! If you are careful on the tees and have sense of humor about getting lost (or can find a local to guide you,) you are going to have quite the amazing course to play. It's really beautiful and quite challenging.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Very Very Nice
Pros: Free to play
Nice mix of open and wooded, up and down, left and right holes
Fun to play
Cons: Navigation is sketchy on a few holes
Need a few hazardous putt baskets
Other Thoughts: Awesome and fun course - Love the course taking the landscape and using it well. Very natural feel to the course.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
very good free course
Pros: free course, practice basket, mix of open and wooded holes, excellent signs show distance, elevation change, and an accurate map. NEW: yellow arrows point to next tee at each basket
Cons: hard to get birdies! Some garbage (glass and metal cans) embedded in the fairways. road to parking lot has many potholes, it hurts my seebring.
Other Thoughts: Great course! 0.5 miles south of Rt. 20 on crane hill Rd.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
New Free Course!
Pros: Great use of land, elevation adds a real challenge. Lots of woody holes, fairly open fairways though. Some really big gun friendy holes on the back (in the open field) well mixed overall. Tee signs are great. Very pretty too. Free!
Cons: No map. Its tricky to navigate to the next tee with no sign to point the way. (the course does a criss-cross for a few holes.) Some of the natural tees are a bit muddy(it was spring)
Other Thoughts: Great course, nice job clearing trees out but leaving a few for flavor, the ground itself not as "groomed" as some other courses, the little stream(casual) is a nice touch along the 8th and 9th. only one hole has an OB and one Mando
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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